Feeds

back to article UK.gov: ICT in schools ain't dead, it's just resting

The UK government denied today that it was dropping IT entirely from the national curriculum while adding that tech contracts would be more bite-sized and flexible at some point soon. Back in January Education Secretary Michael Gove said he was axing the current ICT classes and getting folks together for one of those well-loved …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
WTF?

Can anyone give a clear text ...

... precise on what the fuck they were saying?

2
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Can anyone give a clear text ...

No. No we can't.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Can anyone give a clear text ...

No.

They simply have no clue what they are doing. On the plus side they have realized this and abandoned any attempt of standardization in this area. On the downside they have left it in the hands of thousands of other people. At least some of who also have no clue.

I'd say that office skills ( whatever flavor: ms, open, whatever) should be standard. Kind of like typing classes used to be. Beyond that they should offer, but not require, intro programming courses.

Leave the advanced stuff for university, if the child is so inclined.

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Can anyone give a clear text ...

Is this a joke? You are saying that pupils have to be taught how to type words in to a computer? Are you from the past?

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Can anyone give a clear text ...

Why a joke.

How many people even in IT do you know that can touch type? Yet for certain uses it can send your productivity thought the roof.

I'm sure we all know a couple of our colleagues that do the 2 finger hunt and peck.

0
0
Headmaster

Re: Can anyone give a clear text ...

>Is this a joke? You are saying that pupils have to be taught how to type words in to a computer? Are you from the past?

...its much worse than that, my other half actually has to teach them words; 5 year olds have practically no initiative these days...

0
0
Unhappy

Nick Gibb, the minister for schools and education, said:

"more flexibility to develop courses of study in ICT that meet the needs of their pupils more effective,"

I really, really hope he didn't. Please tell me that this is Brid-Aine's typo and is not the standard of English that the head person in charge of education in Britain thinks is acceptable.

One does something more effectiveLY. Just to clarify in case anyone missed that. I despair.

1
1
Silver badge
FAIL

ICT != IT

"The UK government denied today that it was dropping IT entirely from the national curriculum"

That's true. They can't be dropping it because they never taught it.

Teaching kids to use MS office ain't IT.

6
0
Bronze badge
Alert

Re: ICT != IT

Well, maybe they'll finally drop MS Office Training from the curriculum. We can hope.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: ICT != IT

Office is nowhere near the curriculum.

1
0

"dull and demotivating",

> He denounced the existing IT lessons as "dull and demotivating", and by binning the previous programme of study to draw up a new one, teachers will in the meantime be free to teach how and what they wanted "revolutionising ICT as we know it".

Well, that's an interesting principle. I can think of a few more subjects I'd like to generalise that to.

0
0

Re: "dull and demotivating",

Indeed. Aren't most school lessons dull and demotivating? When I was there, I thought that was the whole idea.

4
0
Stop

What The Copulation is "IT" ??

"IT" is equivalent of calling mathematics "number-fiddling". If they can't even find a proper name I assume they have zero thoughts about anything which could be called "curriculum". Instead, they probably assume that "the best ITers are self-taught hackers, so why should we bother with properly educated teachers ?"

Here is some free advice:

A) Call the thing "Computer Science" or "Informatics"

B) The Curriculum should include

B1) Basic Algorithms & Data Structures including sorting and hashing

B2) Learning a proper procedural programming language such as Pascal or Ada. (No, we don't need to dirty the brains of young people with the "industry standard" abominations)

B3) Learning how to analyze a real-world problem and how to transform it into a working program using the language from B2. For example, numerically integrating Gauss curves, projectile trajectories, planetary systems, simulating chemical processes. Or, doing statistical analysis on CSV files.

And please, don't tell me this is too complicated. We already teach differential analysis and nobody would want to drop it for being "too difficult". Of course, we cannot expect all kids to actually grasp it, but neither do we do that with differential analysis.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: What The Copulation is "IT" ??

You're confusing IT and Computing. They won't call it computing because it's not computing. Word processing, basic database use, spreadsheets, saving/loading files, all that stuff is not computing. As much as it may pain the network admin types who read this place to admit it, it is IT.

Luckily the government is on your wavelength. It wants to fold the IT elements into other subjects (e.g. instead of producing a presentation in IT about some useless nonsense, produce a presentation in English about Chaucer or something, same skills, better setting) and introduce a far more rigorous computing-style curriculum.

The problem with that is we simply do not have any teachers qualified to teach computing; only 2-3 computer science grads per year go on to become teachers. Most "IT" teachers are also "Media" teachers, and have degrees in anything and everything, and next to none of them are qualified to teach computer science, nor would many of them want to.

So, in the end, we'll probably just see IT abolished as an independent subject and nothing else done about the problem.

0
0
Zad
Alert

They can start by not calling it ICT. Number fiddling or not, IT is what rest of the world (i.e. the universe outside UK schools) calls it.

Kids should know how to use basic functions in Word etc by the time they are 11 anyway. It must take all of an hour to teach it.

0
0
Bronze badge
IT Angle

Govt assistance to SMEs

In IT or any other sector consists of giving all the work to the big boys. It isn't much help but it usually provides a laugh or two when it all goes titsup.

0
0
WTF?

ICT, IT, shITe - why not call it computer science?

0
0
Thumb Up

They know exactly what they are doing (even if they were a little slow getting there)

@Zad - you are are so right. But there was a story behind the "C" in "ICT" which was about a left-wing agenda for removing the authority of the teacher from the classroom and replacing it with a peer-to-peer social network. See my post at http://edtechnow.net/2012/01/18/scrapping-ict/.

"Computer Science" is exactly where this is going - but the harsh reality is that there are not enough teachers who know how to teach Microsoft Office satisfactorily - and many fewer who will be able to teach computer science - so that will never become anything more general than an advanced GCSE option (which is all it needs to be - there is a limit even to the number of techies that a society needs).

For compulsory courses, I see two options. (1) will be a general "digital literacy" course, which will be just a little more complex than "how to use the school library", and (2) might be some proto-programming activities (like programming floor turtles - the brainwave of Seymour Papert in the 1980s), so the non-techies at least understand what sort of thing the techies are doing.

The article is, BTW, unfair in accusing Nick Gibb of not answering the question. If the question is "what is the consequence of dumping ICT" and you are NOT dumping ICT, then the correct response is to point out that the premise of the question is incorrect, and not to become embroiled in discussing a pointless counter-factual.

The larger question - which this type of news story generally misses, is not the *teaching* of technology but the *use* of technology to improve teaching and learning across the education system. On that front, the announcement of a new approach to procurement is extremely welcome (see my post at http://edtechnow.net/2012/01/25/stop-the-imls-framework/), while I discuss some of the opportunities elsewhere on my blog.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Microsoft Office should NOT be the default anyway.

1
0

boring lessons

This is a floppy disk, you can write data to this. But you can't to CDs and the new type called DVDs yet.

Really? At the time I had a DVD writer in my computer.... tut tut.

Lessons were full of useless incorrect rubbish at the time. So we were bored of correcting the teacher non stop.

0
0
Childcatcher

Get the kids to bake some lovely Rasberry Pi

Hmmm yum yum.

There should be no place for 'office' - at should be part of the English lesson; learning to write. Or drama; learning to present.

BTW what has Microsoft got to do with this?

0
0
Bronze badge

"Computer skills" is what 100 years ago would have been "reading and writing". So, rewrite the headline to be: "Government to dump teaching of reading and writing", "reading and writing is boring, say pupils", "reading and writing has no relevance" say employers.

0
0
Coffee/keyboard

Meh

The thing is, we are all techy so the courses they do are crap to us. And yes - I agree in theory that you shouldn't teach office only or MS languages but you have to ask - why are they being taught IT at all? If it's so they can get a job then what's wrong with teaching them stuff that is ACTUALLY in use? I'd say that learning C# would be a bit more useful than something archaic that has 0 real world applications.

I think one of the main problems is that they try to teach IT as a blanket "1 size fits all" course when really it doesn't. If it were up to me I'd have an easier course to teach basics (a bit of hardware, knowing what a virus is, different types of OS including new portable things, a SMALL amount of history etc and maybe at the end making a simple website). Then for the kids who are better, have a higher course where they learn about data structures, algorithms, branching strategies and all kinds of (interesting) things.

Either way - stuff needs to change from how it is at the moment. The course I did was out of date in the 90's and AFAIK they are still teaching roughly the same one (complete with paper keyboards to practice typing).

0
0
Anonymous Coward

ICT in schools is a mess

I work in a school as Network Manager. Whilst the ICT systems in place are as modern and up to date as most businesses (Windows 2k8/Win7/Office 2010) with all the media suites etc etc. The main issue is current ICT lessons aren't it. Its just telling kids how to point and click on office. IT teachers everywhere ive worked dont have the skills to teach programming, or anything more than office, The whole system needs a good shakeup. I do agree that some basic IT skills like office and basics need to be taught, people assume all kids can use a computer correctly, the short answer is that they may be able to view websites but thats about it, most kids aged 11 dont have a clue past using game websites.

1
0
This topic is closed for new posts.